Live Like You Were Dying

Apr 27, 2021
by Glenda Lofton

Because of the COVID virus and more time spent at home, I decided this would be a good time to go through all the “stuff” I’ve collected over the years. To my delight, I found things I’d forgotten I had.  One was a book published in 2004 titled, Live Like You Were Dying, by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman. The book included a CD of the song by that title sung by Tim McGraw.  In the foreword, the authors said, “From the second we began writing, the song took over. We talked on the phone at midnight to finish the second verse because the song would not wait.” And they added “Tim McGraw said it would be the first song on his next record,” and it was!  In the foreword to the book, Tim McGraw, a native of Louisiana, noted that “a lot of people assume that I recorded this song because of the passing of my father, Tug McGraw.” (Tug McGraw was a well-known and highly successful professional baseball player who died in 2004.) “But,” Tim adds, “my passion for this song goes a lot further…I believe everyone who hears it will have their own unique reaction to it…I hope this song can provide inspiration for all of us to stop and take time to appreciate all the blessings in our lives–from the smallest things to the biggest dreams.” And he closes with: “God Bless,” and his signature, “Tim McGraw.”

As I read the introduction to the song, and the book, it touched me (maybe because I’m turning 80 this month), and I felt like it was also very appropriate for the life we all are experiencing now with the COVID virus, the severe weather conditions, the controversial presidential election, and the current attacks on America’s religious heritage by the “Freedom from Religion Foundation” and other groups. Below is the song, and, as Nichols and Wiseman concluded in their introduction, “Maybe this has come to you right when you needed it most and now it is time for your life to be touched by this song as it has touched ours.”

Live Like You Were Dying

He said

“I was in my early forties,

With a lot of life before me,

When a moment came that stopped me on a dime.

And I spent most of the next days

Looking at the x-rays

Talkin’ ’bout the options,

Talkin’ ’bout sweet time.”


And I asked him

When it sank in

That this might really be the real end.

“How’s it hit you

When you get that kind of news?

Man, what’d you do?” 


He said,

“I went skydiving

I went Rocky Mountain climbing;

I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.

And I loved deeper,

And I spoke sweeter,

And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.”

And he said,

“One day I hope you get the chance

To live like you were dying.”


He said,

“I was finally the husband

That most of the time I wasn’t.

And I became a friend a friend would like to have.

And all ‘a sudden going fishin’

Wasn’t such an imposition

And I went three times that year I lost my dad.


And I finally read the Good Book and I

Took a good, long, hard look

At what I’d do if I could do it all again…

And then


I went skydiving;

I went Rocky Mountain climbing;

I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.

And I loved deeper,

And I spoke sweeter.

And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”

And he said,

“One day I hope you get a chance

To live like you were dying.”


Like tomorrow was a gift

And you’ve got eternity

To think of what you did with it…

What you did with it…

What did I do with it?

As I read the lyrics of this song, It reminded me once again of the System of Beliefs on which Lofton Staffing was founded, particularly the following: (1) Remember…life is a temporary assignment.  (2) Learn to love Mondays. (3) Have a good day.  You won’t get it back. (3) Why we do what we do…for the joy of it.

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today.